Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Some simple find and replace strings in Word

I have often used these simple find and replace strings to edit Word files, and also some regular expression strings in Word to edit large Word files and Wordfast translation memories. Here are some simple searches that translators may find helpful when using Word's Find and Replace. In a subsequent post, I hope to take up some simple regular expression strings.

In all the instances below, F: refers to the string you need to enter exactly in the "Find what:" box and R: refers to the string you need to enter exactly in the "Replace with:" box when you press Ctrl + H in Word.

1. Replace soft returns by hard returns



2. Replace hard returns by tabs



3. Replace double spaces in front of a hard return by a single space and a hard return

(Note: "@" below represents a space that you enter using the space bar and is not the "@" character)



4. Delete all graphics (images) in the document

(Note you could use a hard return (^p) in the Replace with box if needed. Don't enter anything in the Replace with box otherwise.)



5. Replace white space in front of units (such as kg and so on by a non-breaking space)



(This will keep numbers and their units together even at the end of the lines).

Watch out for a subsequent post on regular expression searches in Word.

Monday, April 28, 2008

First poll on Translator's Tools

I know there are at least some avid readers of Translator's Tools - some of you I met at the recently concluded IJET at Okinawa did sound me out on this. Thank you for your show of appreciation; this has spurred me to write more about translation tools in my spare time. My thanks also go to other faithful readers – I think there are 40 to 50 of you out there who have subscribed to Translator's Tools through some reader. Since this blog will cease to exist without you, my dear readers, I have decided to ask you what you'd like and tailor my posts henceforth to satisfy the majority of readers.

On the sidebar to the left you'll see a question and list of five answers. Choose an option that best reflects your needs and click Vote. The poll will run until the 15th of next month. The subsequent articles will be based on the results.

I'd like to say thanks again, and I look forward to your active participation, especially with comments on any post you feel like. If you do your own website, do link to this blog.

Have a nice weekend!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Yet more Google Tips

I gave you some Google tips in More Google Tips at the beginning of this month, and some in the first installment of Google Tips in January. I have some more for your this time – I'll be running out of words to add at the beginning – maybe "Yet Some More Google Tips" next time? These are some tips that I have tried out and have found useful; those that would help translators come first, of course.

1. Adding a tilde to get related terms and lists of terms

To your search word prefix a tilde (~) and glossary to get glossaries, dictionaries and list of terms.

Example: ~welding +glossary

2. Range of numbers

You can use this 2007..2008 to your search terms to find hits during the years 2007 to 2008.

For instance, you can search for all the posts that you sent to the Honyaku mailing list in these years by using the following keywords in Google:

+Yourname +site:http://groups.google.com/group/honyaku +2007..2008

3. Weather in any city

Find the weather at any location (in Japan too).

Ex: weather Tokyo OR weather Antwerp

For the US, you get the weather information by typing the zip code too.

Ex: weather 94306

Gives the weather in Palo Alto California

4. Find many useful e-books

You can read up information on a specific topic by finding downloadable e-books related to the subject.

+fundamentals +welding +filetype:pdf


+introduction +C programming +ebook

5. "better than XXX" or "YYY sucks" search!

If you wish to know about products that are better than XXX, or alternatives to product YYY, trying using this search.

For example: Enter "better than Trados" and it should give you details of various CAT Tools!

Have a great day!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Microsoft resources for translators

1) Glossary search

Microsoft has some useful resources for translators. Let me point you to a new one that has just appeared – a searchable database of Microsoft terminology in various languages from English. You enter the English term in the upper box and select the language in which you want the equivalent term.

For English to Japanese, here is a trick enables you to copy a term in English and search directly.

1) Copy the URL below and paste into a text editor or MS Word.


2) Substitute XXX by the English term.

3) Copy the entire string and paste it into the address box of your browser and hit Enter.

You should get a list of Japanese equivalents. Here's a part of the results for "localization."

2) Style guides

Microsoft has also made style guides available for download in various languages – but unfortunately the one in English is only available in the print edition.

Download the Japanese and other versions here.

The style guide contains a wealth of information for translators working in the IT field. These style guides are updated versions (March 2008).

3) MVP web sites

There are folks who are now, or have been in the past, designated as Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals recognized as such by MS for their willingness to share their expertise. The MVP web sites have valuable information on all aspects of MS applications; the ones I read often are the Word MVP web sites. Explore – there is a wealth of resources here.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

More Google tips

The first installment of Google Tips appeared to be fairly popular, and having studied and stumbled upon some more cool tricks -- here you go. Let me first touch upon those that might prove useful to translators.

1. Bilingual documents

You sometimes find documents on the web translated in two languages. If you wish to locate, say documents replated to financial statements in Japanese and English, you can try searches like this in Google Japan:

+"financial statement" +対訳

対訳 refers to "bilingual." To find bilingual documents in other languages, replace 対訳 by its equivalent in the language you wish to search and use the specific country site for Google.

The first hit led me to a site where one can search for legal terms.

If you are translating material safety data sheets, then the search

material safety data sheet +対訳

will give you MSDS of various items and glossaries, which could be fairly useful.

2. Research using Google Scholar

If you translate technical reports frequently as I do, Google Scholar searches helps you discard unwanted hits and helps you to focus on scholarly documents from educational institutions, research organizations and so on. You could search only in the target language or both target and source language to find reports where the abstract might be in English while the rest of the report is in Japanese.

I generally use the target words and insert a relevant Japanese term too; for instance:

"marine pollution" +汚染

(where 汚染 is "pollution" in Japanese) led me to websites as shown below.

The first four websites were probably South Korean websites, so I added "site:jp" to the search terms to focus on Japanese sites only. This led to better results for my purpose as below.

3. Finding glossaries using "inurl"

As an extension to the above, you can find documents or websites with specific words in the URL of the websites. Let's make use of this Google feature to find a glossary related to marine pollution. We use the search terms as below:

"marine pollution" +inurl:用語

where 用語 should give a glossary of terms.

The first hit leads to a Word document with a glossary of terms with explanations in Japanese and a fairly useful list of abbreviations.

4. An addictive Google search

As a bonus, I give you some addictive searches, and you are hereby warned: IF YOU HAVE LOTS OF WORK TO DO, DON'T READ FROM HERE ONWARD!

a. To see network cameras all over the world

Enter the search terms exactly as below in Google:


You should see network cameras at various locations in the world. This is fairly addictive and you see all kinds of places, including some fabulous cherry blossoms in full bloom!

b. To find mp3 files

Enter the search terms exactly as below: (DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK; some websites may be harmful. If your system is not well protected by firewalls and AV software, desist from visiting suspicious-looking websites). You can replace "Clapton" by your favorite artist or group, or mp3 by mov, if you like:

"intitle: index of" Clapton mp3

This led me to a site where I could listen to my favorite music.

Happy browsing!